Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis)


French: Tchitrec des Mascareignes German: Maskarenenparadiesschnäpper Spanish: Monarca de las Mascareñas

Muscicapa bourbonnensis

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Reunion, Mascarene Islands


Recent molecular study#R suggests races represent separate evolutionarily significant units. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. b. bourbonnensis (Statius Müller, 1776) – Reunion.
  • T. b. desolata (Salomonsen, 1933) – Mauritius.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–20 cm. Lacks the long central tail feathers common to most paradise-flycatchers. Male nominate race has black cap, thin grey neckband, dull chestnut upperparts,... read more


    Three types of vocalization known: male song a descending whistled trill with notes grouped in... read more


    Primary forest, forest edge, secondary growth, plantations, sometimes gardens. On Mauritius, race... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects; no detailed studies, but beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), lacewings (Neuroptera), dragonflies (Odonata), moths (Lepidoptera... read more


    Season Aug–Jan/Feb (peak Oct–Nov) on Mauritius at sea-level (no data for upland areas); on Reunion breeds Sept–Dec, with... read more


    Resident. On Mauritius, at least in 1970s, juveniles dispersed over relatively large distances.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES III. Restricted-range species: present in Réunion EBA and Mauritius EBA. On Reunion, common and widespread in 19th century, some retreat from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. (2020). Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 January 2020).